REACH Edmonton

In the frigid final months of 2016, REACH and its partners challenged Edmontonians to take action when they saw people in non-emergency distress by calling 211 for the 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team, and the public responded in droves.

During November and December, REACH Edmonton and it’s partners spearheaded a social media campaign that urged Edmontonians to #JustCall211, which reached more than 436,000 people on Facebook and Twitter.

Since the launch of the awareness campaign, public calls to the 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team increased by 27 per cent .

The 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team responds around-the-clock, seven days a week, 365 days a year to people in distress on the streets of Edmonton, by helping people get to a safe place.

The goal of the campaign was to proactively educate Edmontonians on what they can do if they see someone in distress.

“This was a call to action, and Edmontonians showed that they really do want to participate in the safety of their community,” said Lindsay Daniller, director of community initiatives and strategic development at REACH Edmonton.

There are currently five teams working city-wide to prevent unnecessary use of emergency services, which free up police and medical responders to focus on emergency situations. The teams also provide a warm hand-off by connecting individuals to the supports they need in the immediate crisis.

24/7 Crisis Diversion is a partnership between Boyle Street Community Services, Hope Mission, Canadian Mental Health Association, Edmonton Police Service and Emergency Medical Services, with REACH Edmonton as the backbone organization.